Pilgrims Choice - the country’s second biggest-selling Cheddar brand - is to bear new labelling to reflect the various countries from which the cheese is sourced.
From March, mature and extra mature packs of Pilgrims Choice - which is worth £71.5m [The Grocer Top Products Survey 2012] - will declare: “Produced in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, using milk from the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Packed in the UK.” Currently, packs state: “Cheese selected from around the world, packed in the UK.”
Brand owner Adams Foods said shoppers did not buy cheese based on provenance, but added it had decided to change the labels in response to the code of practice on origin labelling, agreed last year. “This will assist some of the small number of consumers who do want to know exactly where their cheese comes from,” it added.
The NFU - which launched a campaign in October last year to push for clearer country of origin labelling - welcomed Adams’ move, but said more needed to be done. “It would be clearer to have only one origin stated on packaging,” said NFU food chain adviser Ruth Mason.